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Description

This wall, one of the two main walls of the gorge, has some amazing routes. Unlike the 'South Wall', though, you have to rap back down whatever you've climbed all the way to the floor of the gorge, then walk out the long grind back uphill to the car. Allow an hour or two for the rap descent and walk-out, and bring a head torch!

© (redheckler)

Access issues inherited from Bungonia Gorge

The park is occasionally closed for feral animal control. Check here: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alert/state-alerts

Approach

The walk-down should take 25-30 minutes to the creekbed, then another few minutes to walk 100-200m down the creek to where the routes are. 'North Wall' is on your left as you walk downstream.

© (redheckler)

Some content has been provided under license from: © Canberra Climbers' Association (CC BY-SA) © Australian Climbing Association Queensland (Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike 2.5 AU)

Routes

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Grade Route

Climb to the roof and get some threads. Pull over this and up to a tree belay.

Start: Start at the extreme left hand end of the 'North Wall' below a water polished buttress with a small roof at 10m. This is about 200m downstream of the red track.

FA: Tony Barten & Mike Peck, 1986

FA: Chris Warner, 2014

Start up the water groove to the tree, then crimp up past the hanging roots to chain.

FA: Chris Warner, 2014

FA: Chris Fitzgerald, 2014

FA: Chris Warner & Kristy Shelley, 2014

Not often repeated.

  1. 30m (17) Up the easy corner to a tree and then traverse right to a ledge belay.

  2. 45m (19) Cut back leftwards and continue up flakes, scoops and greenery to a good stance.

  3. 45m (16) Climb the ledges and scoops and trees leftwards to a tree belay.

FA: Matt Madin & Andrew Kean, 1986

Apparently better than 'Green Peace'.

  1. 20m (19) Up the thin wall to the big ledge.

  2. 45m (20) Head straight up to a stance.

FA: Matt Madin & Dave Magregor mid 80s, 1986

  1. 20m (17) Same as Rum, Bum and Gramophones pitch 1. When at the big ledge walk left to belay at the prominent flake.

  2. 40m (21) All natural. Climb the flake then traverse left to easier ground. Now straight up to tree belay.

  3. 30m (14) Follow ledges and scoops and belay where convenient.

  4. 25m (12) Continue rightwards to 5th belay of 'Strangeness and Charm'.

FA: John Fantini & W Moon, 1987

Classic jug pulling in places, wandering and scary in others.

Start: Starts under the right side of a big ledge at 20m, in rather vegetated terrain.

  1. 20m (17) Up to belay on right side of big ledge.

  2. 45m (21) Ape up some wild jugs for 8m (bomber threads). Step right and move up leaving the steep ground and good holds for tenuous slabbing. Follow a series of snaking grooves (sparse protection) to belay in a recess (thread and sapling).

  3. 40m (20) Continue straight up for 4m then left to the buttress. Follow the loose corner system on its left side. Look for a good stance at 40m.

  4. 30m (12) Finish more easily to the 5th belay on 'Strangeness and Charm'.

FA: John Smoothy & W Moon, 1984

Take the right side of the steepening buttress and follow it to connect with the final crux on 'Strangeness and Charm'. Belay at the bathtub on the top of pitch 4 of Strangeness.

Start: Start from the top of pitch 2 of Rum, Bum and Gramophones.

FA: John Fantini & Matt Madin, 1987

Takes a line left of 'Strangeness and Charm' all the way.

  1. 45m (24) Climb easily to a bulge and then move through it with caution to a bolt, then onwards to another bolt on top of a flake. Step down and teeter leftwards for several metres (24) to reach flake on left. Move leftwards into a groove and continue up past another bolt with some interesting moves on flakes to gain the bolt belay on right.

  2. 45m (21) Up more easily to the top of the flake and traverse horizontally right for 3m. Keep moving up trending right past a few flakes to the 3rd belay on Strangeness.

  3. 45m (22) Traverse back leftwards and upwards to a prominent spike and climb its left side on the steepening rock above. Place a good wire at the bulge and make a hard couple of moves to reach the 4th belay on Strangeness.

FA: Mike Law-Smith & John Fantini, 1989

The left hand line through the overlap. 'Excellent'. More committing than 'Wailing Cockatoo'. 6 FHs in total. Rebolted 2012.

FA: Giles Bradbury & Greg Moore, 1984

Direct through the small roof below the 2nd belay on 'Strangeness and Charm'. Rather extreme. Straight up to the roof using side runners. Slot a 1 friend in the roof, clip a bolt and swing over the roof (crux). Continue past three more bolts.

FA: Mike Law-Smith & Glenn Tempest, 1989

Probably the best single pitch that starts from ground level in the Gorge. It's THE way to do 'Strangeness and Charm' direct, a humdingin' pitch completely in keeping with the rest of Strangeness. There is a grade 22 and 24 variant.

Start directly under the 2nd belay on Strangeness, where an overlap at 12m decreases in size towards the right. Up the crack to large scoop (wires). A few more moves give way to a bolt. Get the hollow sounding flake above and trend leftwards past a bolt and straight up towards two more bolts which are 3m apart. Either whimp out left to connect with " Strangeness and Charm Direct DS" (grade 22) or directly upwards past a 4th bolt (grade 24).

FA: John Fantini & Mike Law-Smith, 1988

FA: Glenn Tempest (grade 24 direct), 1989

Excellent.

  1. 20m (22) Thin wall climbing (4 bolts) leads to a cute belay in a scoop.

  2. 25m (24) Leftwards up the slab to a bolt. Straight up to cross the 'Strangeness and Charm' traverse to a steep headwall. Straight up this past 2 more bolts to a belay chain.

  3. 40m (23) Some delicate slabbing left from the belay leads to a bolt. Clip this and continue up past 3 more bolts and eventually stepping left to the 3rd belay on Strangeness.

FA: Glenn Tempest & Richard Smith, 1989

Climbed onsight ground up with no pre-inspection. Thus it is scary, sustained and badly bolted. Admirable none the less.

  1. 45m (22) Start directly below a niche and move out left and up the steep rock on good positive holds to reach the left end of a small ledge. Place a #3 friend in a hole, traverse right and up a small corner to reach the 1st belay of 'Strangeness and Charm'.

  2. 20m (24) Straight up to a good wire placement in the overlap, move left and upwards to gain the prominent small corner. Continue up past a hard move to gain the hanging belay at a short crack.

  3. 45m (24) A long pitch on natural gear. Climb the left side of the flake before traversing right to gain a series of pockets which lead to a solitary bolt up high. Hard moves past this to a bolt belay above.

  4. 40m (22) Continue straight up past a few fixed wires to join 'Galactic Wanderer'.

FA: John Fantini & Mike Law-Smith (1 aid), 1986

FFA: S Boyden & M Snell, 1987

Just right of 'Comet Chaser', a single pitch direct to the 1st belay of 'Strangeness and Charm'. The crux is at the bulge.

FA: John Fantini & Mike Law-Smith, 1986

Really good climbing, with atmosphere. All new bolts now.

Start: Start below a short wide crack at the left edge of a treed ledge. If you are having problems finding the start and are unfamiliar with the gorge, walk across to the other side of the creek and suss out the route from there, the footpads of the traverse on pitch 2 are fairly obvious.

  1. 45m (18) Up the crack, step right (wires) and up to a ledge and tree. Move left 3m and climb up to a scoop (wires). From the scoop continue left and up to the small belay ledge (two FHs). This pitch is quite runout.

  2. 20m (18) Traverse left with trepidation past two spaced FHs and a medium cam slot to an assortment of vintage chains (hanging belay).

  3. 35m (22) Up, follow the groove past three FH (crux) before crossing to the left side out of the crack (feels desperate) then up to belay stance. A stout and sustained pitch requiring a good rack inc slings for thread.

  4. 20m (22) Left up flakes and up to a FH, move rightwards over the bulge (crux) past carrot bolt and FH and then trend left up to the awesome bathtub cave belay (rap chain).

  5. 30m (19) Up to a bolt before trending a little down and left to the bent blackbody, continue up dusty groove past another bolt and and trend left through the steep bulge on jugs.. "No-one bothers with this pitch" - actually, quite a lot of people do it, it's not bad. Be aware that the abseil back to the 4th belay is a bit diagonal. There is now new chains a further 8m up and right at a stance giving a better rap line down.

FA: G Bradbury & G Moore, 1984

Good. If only the corner were 10 times as long.

Start: Start as for 'Strangeness and Charm'.

  1. 40m (19) Up Strangeness to ledge and tree, follow it leftwards a few metres to scoop with wires. 'Galactic Wanderer' departs Strangeness here, and trends up and right past a bolt to a double bolt belay.

  2. 20m (25) (Or 21M1) Up with care to a bolt at 8m, then slightly left to the overlap and more bolts. Either aid up and left or pull impossible looking moves to the base of the dihedral (the last bolt is hidden behind a bush). Bridge up the corner (wires) to the belay.

  3. 50m (21) With care up and right to a bolt, over a terrifyingly poised and dangerous flake. Up past another two bolts and trend leftwards to the belay.

  4. 50m (20) Continue a leftward trend aiming for the protruding grass tree above.

FA: Pitches 1, 2: Giles Bradbury, Greg Moore. Pitches 3, 4: John Fantini & Matt Madin, 1985

A more direct start to 'Galactic Wanderer'. Looks runout.

Start: Start about 5m right of 'Strangeness and Charm'.

FA: Mike Law-Smith, 1986

1st line of fixed hangers to the right of the start of strangeness

  1. 36m (21) Really good climbing and worth doing as a single pitch. Follow up the Fixe hangers to chains (some long slings are helpful). Lowering off using al 70m rope will JUST make it down to the ground.

  2. 35 m (27) Solid climbing that would give an impressive on-sight. Follow the steel to finish at a semi-hanging belay. Originally done without the last bolt.

  3. -m (30) Sail out into the slab with solid sustained climbing on a long pitch.

FFA: Jan

FA: Graham Fairbain, 2005

An old Andrew Bull/Tony Barton project cleaned up and finished by Graham Fairbain. Climb details to be verified. At least 6 pitches - crux pitch of 26/27. Sport route on fixed hangers.

Please note that the description and grades are preliminary only.

You'll need two ropes to get down. It is possible to retreat from any of the belays. The rap line, however, does not not follow the route directly (i.e., you can't easily stop at pitches 2 or 3 on the way down because the pitches above them traverse and they are steepish. So best not to leave stuff you want to collect on the way down at these belays (e.g., don't leave your extra clothes etc. in the hole!).

Start: Line of hangers to the right of 'Big, Dark and Mysterious'.

  1. 20m (18) Start in short open corner and head up following bolts. A small/medium nut reduces the runout up the slab. Belay on bolts just below the first overlap.

  2. 20m (23) Cruxy. Out roof (crux) and up slabby wall. Continue past rap anchor and two more bolts to bolted belay up under the second overlap. It may be more comfortable to belay at the rap anchor - it gives a better view of the next pitch.

  3. 25m (26) Traverse left from the belay to the stalagtite and out the overlap. Into the corner to the right, up a couple of metres and head left and up following bolts. Belay in the big hole. Great climbing!

  4. 45m (23) A great, sustained pitch. Out of the belay hole to the left and follow bolts up. At about the half-way mark is an obvious thread that may make the run out a bit more comfortable, it requires a 120cm sling. Where the bolts trend right, use a couple of long slings to reduce drag. At about 35m, clip a bolt to the right (long sling) and head up and left easily to the belay.

    Be cautious rapping from here - if you thread all three bolts the rope may not pull. Rap to anchor on ledge 10m left of the third belay. Rap again to station halfway up Pitch 2, and again to the ground.

  5. -m (25) Up orange corner system. After corner bust right to chains.

  6. -m (21) Continue up to finish at chains. Rap route.

FA: Graham Fairbain, 2005

The overhanging line.

  1. 20m (25) Up past the overhanging block (crux) to gain the tree belay above.

  2. 25m (20) Up the wall past a bolt and a series of chicken heads to hanging double bolt belay.

FFA: Richard Watts

FA: John Fantini & Dave Magregor, 1989

Hard and amazing for its day. Still amazing.

  1. 50m (22) A hard start with no gear gives way to a good short crack higher up. Now move left across the void and up into a shallow groove with a piton. Continue up to gain the top of a small pedestal. Natural belay.

  2. 25m (22) Directly up to a bolt/stud before dropping down to traverse out right to gain a groove. Upwards, then bridging, to a double bolt belay.

FA: Pete Morgan & Greg Mortimer mid 70s, 1975

  1. 40m (22) As for Morgan Mortimer to the stance on top of a small block.

  2. 40m (21) Gain the traverse weakness out right and continue until forced to drop down to the big ledge and tree to belay.

  3. 40m (22) Start right of the tree. Up on small holds for a few metres before heading left a short way. Then up and right to the belay.

  4. 40m (21) (21M1) Straight up on pockets before going to aid for 5 moves because of calcified rock. Continue up over chicken heads to thread belay.

  5. 35m (21) Continue up groove and flake system then horizontally right to sapling. Follow the weakness upwards before being forced to move left around an awkward groove. Hanging stance on the left with rap anchor.

FA: John Fantini & Dave Magregor, 1985

Connects 'Jewel Box' to 'Coal Sack'.

  1. 42m (23) Up 'Jewel Box' to hanging belay in large scoop just below the cave.

  2. 50m (22) Traverse leftwards until the holds runout and you are forced to do a tension traverse to gain more holds and join the 3rd pitch of 'Coal Sack'.

  3. 40m (21) (21M1) Same as 'Coal Sack' pitch 4.

  4. 35m (21) Same as 'Coal Sack' pitch 5.

FA: John Fantini & Matt Madin, 1985

Starts 5m left of Jewel Box

  1. (25) 30m Sort of popular as a wet weather single pitch. Start on the grungy looking slab left of the corner to a 5m roof then pull the lip and pump on till the ledge. One of the best pitches from the gorge floor.

  2. (24) 40m Continue up on bolts that snake around, take 2 long runners. Finish under the little orange roof.

  3. (23) 15m A short pitch. Pull the roof then great sustained climbing till the semi hanging belay.

FA: Chris Warner, 2008

Hard and sustained, start a few metres right of the overhang on bolts. Goes up 4 pitches and nicely run out at times.

FA: Graham Fairbairn, 2007

Sustained and strenuous, a classic. Protection is hard to place on the first pitch, and friends have been known to pull out of glassy placements. Fantini himself now says he would not lead pitch 1 again due to the extreme danger of the first 18m. Take it easy.

  1. 50m (23) Start on the left edge of the cave. An unprotected start leads to a #3 friend at 9m. Move left around bulge to a steep wall with a fixed sling. Thin moves up this to a ledge (crux) and a no hands rest. Teeter left to surmount the block and then up to a small cave. More sustained but well protected climbing brings you to the belay cave.

  2. 50m (23) Lean back and place a wire just above the cave. Step down and traverse leftwards for a few moves and then follow a line of holds to the roof. There is a 2/2.5 friend up high and to the left as well as a fixed pin. Head right through the roof to a rest. Easier climbing leads to a stance at 50m with two bolts.

  3. 50m (21) Take the rising groove to the left and continue up leftwards in a rising arc to a block in the overlap. Pull the overlap and continue up a few metres before traversing left to the groove. Up the groove (wires) until it is possible to traverse out left to a bolt rap station.

FFA: pitch 1 J Demontjoy

FA: John Fantini & Tony Barten, 1984

FFA: pitch 2 Chris Plant & Ton Snelder, 1986

Start: Start 6m right of 'Jewel Box'.

  1. 35m (29) Excellent sustained climbing on bolts to the little cave above with a fixed anchor.

  2. 25m (21) (21M1) Straight up the groove past many bolts to a belay underneath the roof.

  3. 40m (22) (22M1) Aid through the roof to wall above, then move right to flake. Up through the overlap then left and up to a niche and bolt belay.

  4. 25m (19) Move left and up to the buttress above on beautiful rock. The route finishes at the bottom of the impossible looking buttress. Bolts to rap off.

FFA: Zac Vertrees

FA: John Fantini (uncertain - pre 1996?), 1990

Fantastic rock and sustained. 12 bolts on the white wall.

FA: Lee Cossey, 2001

Has this had a second ascent? Covers mind boggling terrain.

Takes all the orange overhanging corners at the downstream end of the north wall. All belays are on bolts.

  1. 40m (26) Start at the overhanging crack/roof and cruise through to the wall and cave above. Out over the cave lip and trend diagonally right to a bolt belay.

  2. 40m (21M1) Surmount overlap and traverse left. Aid up bolts over another overlap, ho-hum, to finish up a crack and the next niche belay.

  3. 30m (22) Crack and slab above and move right and up a steep little buttress to gain the belay.

  4. 40m (23) Step right and over the bulge to gain the big corner. Continue up to the 3 bolts which traverse right across a little orange face to the lip of the overhang. Now up the crack to the belay.

  5. 30m (21) Up the orange rock to a bolt. Traverse left at the line to gain a steep groove and bulge which leads to a belay ledge.

  6. 40m (22) This pitch is on beautiful grey slabby rock. Start in the corner and take a leftwards sloping crack to gain the vertical groove which leads to easier ground and trees.

FFA: pitch 1, Rolando Archer, pitch 3, 4, Andy Richardson & lee cossey

FA: John Fantini & Keith Bell, 1991

Probably good for sussing out the hard stuff below. Pitch 1 is not great.

  1. 50m (19) Start at the very downstream end of the roofs. Up choss to a tree.

  2. 35m (20) Scoops cracks and ledge left to tree belay.

  3. 30m (17) Leftwards past a tree to a good stance.

  4. 30m (16) Traverse left to 2nd belay on 'Jewel Box'.

  5. 40m (21) Up 'Jewel Box' for 5m then diagonally left to the 4th belay on 'Coal Sack'.

  6. 35m (21) Same as 'Coal Sack' pitch 5.

FA: John Fantini & Dave Magregor, 1985

Great climbing on the wall just right of 'Olympus Mons'.

FA: Andrew Bull, 1999

Start 60m right of 'Olympus Mons' at the toe of the wide prominent buttress. No bolts. Scary.

  1. 45m (14) Wander up the buttress to belay at a ledge.

  2. 50m (17) Continue up the buttress to a tree belay.

  3. 40m (22) Scary and hard. Follow the line to the steep wall right of the prominent corner. Up the wall trending rightwards on the obvious, steep line of holds. Belay at a grasstree after the wall kicks back.

  4. 35m (18) Up the slab to rejoin the very loose corner. Belay at a fixed hex up high. Rap the route to retreat.

FA: Vera Wong & Andrew McAuley, 1998

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